How to find influencers for your game?

Hello there!
I’m Tavrox, a freelance game marketing specialist. I’ve been working for several indie game developers. My specialty is influencers communication. I’ll try to explain how I reach Youtubers and Twitchers in this blog post. Note that this is my process. Feel free to give me feedbacks about yours.

What is an influencer?
Someone with a strong personality who manages one or several social media accounts and takes care of his own fan base.

Why are influencers important?
Game influencers are always looking for new games. They have to entertain their public constantly, some of them make a new video every day. Their fan base may be your core target audience. If you reach the right Youtuber with the right audience and the right game, you’ll get better return rates.

How do you proceed?

  1. Game analysis: what type of game are you making? How do you present it?
  2. Influencers analysis: which influencers could like your game? What is their personnality?
  3. Mailing and messages: how to reach them? how to speak with them?

First Step: Game Analysis

First, we’ll need to find out how to present your game to game casters. This is similar to the work you could do for a steam page or a press release. It’s about finding the core idea and feeling of your game.

At the end of this step you need:

  • One headline, around 10 words. It will be the title of your mail or private message. It needs to feature the words “Game key for [game name]”. The game casters directly understand it’s for a review.
  • Two lines of description around 20 to 30 words. It will give details about your game, but not too much.
  • A great, light weight gif. It must be under 3 mo and show your game clearly.
  • Information about embargo.
  • A list of games similar to your on the mood or the gameplay. If you can games that are similar but not too much that’ll be perfect. If you don’t find similar games, take games in the same genre.
Some of the biggest game casters from France & US. Do you recognize them?

Second step: Influencers research

In this step, you’ll have to look at lots of youtube videos, profiles and twitch pages. You look at their pages, see a few videos, then take notes in an Excel. You think this is fun? I do. But wait until you saw a hundred pages in a day :)

Basically, there are several ways to find youtubers & twitchers for your games. This process will determine the quality of youtubers you find.

But I could just use this 10 0000 people mailing list I saw on the internet!!

Please don’t do this. For several reasons.

  1. You didn’t make this list. There could be scammers that will sell your game on G2A.
  2. There are probably the biggest youtubers who won’t even read your mail. Congratz, you wasted a game key and time.
  3. How do you know those youtubers could like your game? This column “genre” with 20 generic words such as arcade and action? Don’t kid me :)

Here’s what I do.

Make sure your youtube account is set for the right language. Then Search for games
  • Youtube: Remember the list of similar games in Step 1? Search for them on Youtube. Then, get all the channel profiles URL with 10k to 600k subscribers. It’s my personal range for quality channels that may actually read your mail. You can generally get around 20–30 good accounts for each similar game you’re parsing.
  • Twitch: Use the search in the same way. Or use specific tools such as GameSight (https://gamesight.io). It’s still in alpha but it’s quite reliable concerning datas. You can use Game Sight for Youtube too. Report in an excel spreadsheet some details about those

When you have those data, put them in a dashboard like Excel. Take notes and try to add details that will help you remind the Youtubers. If you get lazy and only list the channel url, that’s ok. You can still look at it afterwards.

You can have something like this

As a note, this kind of list often takes me 1 day for every 30 people in it. I take the time to look at their channel, get their official email, add comments. It’s important to have a glimpse at their videos. It can show you if they could like your game or not.
You can also have return rates on your mails, and calculate how many people answered you.

When you have this list, you can build the mail template.

Third step : Mailing

Now it’s time to actually reach those people. You have 3 way to do this.

A. Send the same mail to everyone, very generic.
B. Send a super personalized email to everyone, really unique.
C. Send a semi-generic template, the middle solution.

I use the solution C. I’ll explain how and why.

The key is to use semi-generic components. You want to show that you actually look at their channels like real people (because, hopefully, you do). If you spend 100 hours writing personalized mails with a 10% return rate, you’ll end up pretty exhausted for nothing. Everything is about balance.

I try to do change the components on each campaign. In this Sky Sanctuary campaign, I only had to put that I saw they cover Vive games. That’s because I did check for everyone of them. But with other games, I chose to reference some games they already covered. Then my excel templates concatenates several fields with a few variables.
I also make a double cross check before sending a mail. I check the youtube channel and try to make a double verification if the game caster fits the criteria.

This method will be automated one day, that’s one of my long term goal. But right now, I need to get shit done. The final emails look like this:

I don’t say it’s the perfect email but it helps. I can even change the template, the title, and some key points if they seem bad after some mail sending.

Note that Twitch doesn’t show mails. You’ll have to use Private Messages or search for their mail in their social networks. Another note: you can add “Please don’t sell it on G2A” to warn your correspondents. It might increases the fact that you trust him and indicates that’s a business relationship.

Remember to use Mail Hunter if you need to find their mails by other means.

I use Hubspot to check if game influencers opened the mail. I’d rather not use it, but it’s very valuable for me and my clients to know if someone opened the mail or not. It could also be part of an A/B testing campaign.

This technique to reach influencers can be improved. I hope it will help the small indie game developers out there. I can’t get very high profile to actually look at the game with this method. To have those, you’ll have to do a more personal approach.

This is it folks! I’d love to have your feedbacks. What do you think about my method? What is yours?